Defense seeks to discredit Filipino maid | Global News

Defense seeks to discredit Filipino maid

/ 04:29 AM August 03, 2011

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island—A defense attorney for a United Arab Emirates naval officer accused of keeping an unpaid servant in his Rhode Island home sought on Monday to portray her as a liar who left her former master a thank you note when she fled the home last year only to file a lawsuit months later seeking $200,000.

Col. Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali’s former servant testified for the second time during his trial in U.S. District Court in Providence. Al-Ali’s lawyer asked the servant, Elizabeth Cabitla Ballesteros, about leaving Al-Ali and his family a note thanking them for “everything” and for bringing her to the United States when she secretly left their large East Greenwich home last October.

“You didn’t ask them for $200,000 in that letter, did you?” defense attorney Robert C. Corrente asked during his cross-examination.


Ballesteros responded that she complained Al-Ali was not paying her what she was owed. She said she didn’t seek out a lawyer but authorized a civil suit to be filed months later against Al-Ali on her behalf.


“I complained regarding my salary because they hadn’t been paying me,” Ballesteros, who’s from the Philippines, said through an interpreter.

The civil litigation is on hold in federal court.

Corrente also asked Ballesteros why she never contacted the police after leaving Al-Ali’s home. She said she didn’t know how to contact authorities and thought she was returning to the Philippines.

“What you did do is hire an attorney who wrote a letter to the colonel demanding he pay you $200,000,” said Corrente, who also asked Ballesteros whether she knows what it means to tell the truth.

‘I didn’t read it’

Ballesteros said that the night before she left for the United States last July with Al-Ali’s family she was forced to sign a document affirming she was paid 12 monthly payments of $1,600. She said she never saw the money.


She also acknowledged she didn’t read the contract she and Al-Ali signed for her employment in Rhode Island.

“I didn’t read it,” she said. “I was not allowed by my master to read it.”

Ballesteros said she quickly deteriorated physically after arriving at Al-Ali’s Rhode Island home, where she worked long hours cleaning, preparing meals for the family of seven, washing two cars daily and doing all the laundry and ironing.

She also said Al-Ali had her remove cobwebs from the front of the house when they moved in and the residence was much larger than he initially had indicated.

The judge threw out Ballesteros’ first testimony because of problems with the translation. A new interpreter was retained to help her.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Once Ballesteros finished testifying Monday, prosecutors rested their case and Corrente asked the judge to acquit Al-Ali.

TAGS: Rhode Island

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.